Too old?

tooold-topNothing here is too old to make do.

I’m often impressed to see the tools and contraptions being used by people in a creative way and although not necessarily according to health & safety regulations, the job gets done.

Lines strung between electricity poles are perfect to hang various merchandise for sale along a busy road.

A few short poles and an old sheet of plastic are a sun shade for a tiny shop selling sweets on a sandy side.

Construction workers can be seen carrying discarded cargo drums on their heads or shoulders into a residential compound filled with sand or stones. It’s a cheap way to transfer a lorry load that has just been dumped at the gate.

Broken plastic garden chairs can be tied together with string and strengthened by using two broken remains on top of one another. Security guards can sit on these during many hours a day or night, hardly comfortable nor stable but it works.

Broken plastic garden chairs can be tied together with string and strengthened by using two broken remains on top of one another. Security guards can sit on these during many hours a day or night, hardly comfortable nor stable but it works.

Fundis having to paint high walls or place ceiling boards will use self-crafted ladders to reach high enough.

Their ladders are often made from old wood found laying around somewhere or bought cheaply.

Broken plastic garden chairs can be tied together with string and strengthened by using two broken remains on top of one another.

Security guards can sit on these during many hours a day or night, hardly comfortable nor stable but it works.

Ladies cooking along the road create small restaurants using tree stumps or stones as seats and a sheet of corrugated iron on a crate as table.

People selling second hand clothes drape their dresses on hangers on a wall under an arcade in town.

A bicycle fundi has created his small workshop along a wide cycle path next to the main road.

Spare tyres and other parts are hanging from a tree, which also provides the shade for the work at hand.

Making do is a real art here — many people use whatever they have or can get without too many costs or troubles to get on with their work or business: amazingly.

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About the Author

Josie van den Hoek

Josie first visited Dar es Salaam in 2000 and is still here. She writes about encounters on her daily walks and Tanzanian life.